Generation rate of carbon monoxide from burning charcoal

Ind Health. 2011;49(3):393-5. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.ms1189. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


Charcoal, often used as cooking fuel at some restaurants, generates a significant amount of carbon monoxide (CO) during its combustion. Every year in Japan, a number of cooks and waiters/waitresses are poisoned by CO emanating from burning charcoal. Although certain ventilation is necessary to prevent the accumulation of CO, it is difficult to estimate the proper ventilation requirement for CO because the generation rate of CO from burning charcoal has not been established. In this study, several charcoals were evaluated in terms of CO generation rate. Sample charcoals were burned in a cooking stove to generate exhaust gas. For each sample, four independent variables -- the mass of the sample, the flow rate of the exhaust gas, CO concentration in the exhaust gas and the combustion time of the sample -- were measured, and the CO generation rate was calculated. The generation rate of CO from the charcoal was shown to be 137-185 ml/min/kW. Theoretical ventilation requirements for charcoals to prevent CO poisoning are estimated to be 41.2-55.6 m(3)/h/kW.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Carbon Monoxide / toxicity*
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning*
  • Charcoal / chemistry
  • Charcoal / toxicity*
  • Cooking
  • Fires*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Occupational Health
  • Vehicle Emissions
  • Ventilation


  • Vehicle Emissions
  • Charcoal
  • Carbon Monoxide